Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup Quick Hits: Japan face shootout with Argentina

 Kotaro Matsushima attacks for Japan
Japan's win over Samoa kept them in the frame for a quarter-final spot

Japan face Argentina in the final round of pool games with a quarter-final place at stake and Simon Mail previews the action...

  • Japan face crucial knockout decider

  • Pumas finding form after slow start

  • Fiji on verge of quarter-final spot


Japan v Argentina
Sunday, 12:00
Live on ITV

Japan and Pumas face decider

Japan and Argentina face off in a high noon shootout with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. This is a winner-takes-all showdown for the right to join England in the knockout stage. The Brave Blossoms, who reached the last-eight four years ago, edged to a 28-22 victory over Samoa to stay in the running for a top-two finish.

Argentina made a forgettable start after losing to 14-man England in their opener but have slowly moved through the gears. The Pumas eased to a 59-5 win over Chile with Juan Martin Gonzalez scoring two of their eight tries. Michael Cheika's team must now avoid defeat, with a better points difference, to book their quarter-final place.

This has all the makings of an enthralling encounter with everything on the line for these teams. Argentina are 1.241/4 favourites to win but this might be much closer than the odds suggest. Japan will be game opponents and are backed on the handicap to stay within 14 points but the Pumas should do enough to progress.

Back Japan +14 to win @ 10/111.91

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Fiji v Portugal
Sunday, 20:00
Live on ITV4

Fiji to seal quarter-final place

Fiji are on the verge of reaching the quarter-finals with only a point required against Portugal to progress at the expense of Australia. Their momentous win over the Wallabies has put them on course for the last-eight although Fiji produced an error-strewn performance in the 17-12 win over Georgia.

Portugal have been the great entertainers in France and two points does not do justice to their performances. An 18-18 draw against Georgia was so nearly a first World Cup win. Portugal again impressed in the 34-14 loss to Australia, with Pedro Bettencourt and Rafael Simoes both scoring a try.

Fiji should get the job done to advance alongside Wales but there is no interest in siding with the favourites. Portugal are handed a 20-point handicap and this stands out. Os Lobos have been a revelation at the tournament, not lost by more than 20 points, and appear underrated in the betting.

Back Portugal +20 to win @ 10/111.91

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Tonga v Romania
Sunday, 16:45
Live on ITV3

Tonga to sign off with win

Tonga are heading out of the World Cup but will take inspiration from their performance against South Africa into their final match. Tonga produced a vibrant display against the Springboks, with their captain Ben Tameifuna scoring one of three tries in the entertaining 49-18 defeat.

Romania have been totally out of their depth in France with the team shipping 234 points in their three pool defeats. Their latest World Cup hammering was an 84-0 loss against Scotland, with Romania conceding 12 tries in a complete mismatch.

Tonga showed enough against the Springboks to suggest they can sign off with a convincing win. Facing Romania gives them a strong opportunity, with Tonga's power and flair likely to overwhelm them. Romania have conceded at least 76 points in every match and Tonga are backed to cover a 37-point handicap.

Back Tonga -37 to win @ 10/111.91

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Who will win the Rugby World Cup? Latest betting odds

South Africa are joint favourites at 3/14.00 with Ireland to win the World Cup. France and New Zealand are both just behind them at 10/34.33 in the outright betting.

There is a significant gap to the next team, with England available at 11/112.00. Wales have shortened to 19/120.00 in the outright betting following their emphatic win over Australia, with Fiji and Argentina available at 35/136.00.


Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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